Tamil Nadu observes bandh today in support of drought-hit farmers

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Apr 25 (ANI): The opposition parties led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhaghan (DMK) on Tuesday will be observing a state-wide shutdown in support of drought-hit farmers. The DMK, the Congress, multitude of trade unions, farmer bodies and even the film fraternity have pledged support to the shutdown. However, the E. Palaniswamy-led state government asserted that normalcy will not be affected. The police said it has taken all adequate steps, including proper deployment of personnel in order to maintain law and order in the state. Association of groceries, trade unions of auto drivers and local vegetable markets have also extended their support towards the bandh. DMK has called for shutdown in order to urge the Central and state government to fulfill the farmers' demands including adequate relief and setting up of a Cauvery management board. However, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam AIADMK and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have termed the bandh call as being politically motivated. Earlier yesterday, the Tamil Nadu farmers suspended their protest till May 25 after Chief Minister E. Palaniswamy's assurance. "If our demands are not fulfilled we will start our protest again after 25th May. If we get train tickets, we will leave today," said Ayyakanu, an agitating farmer. Palaniswamy yesterday said he discussed the farmers' issue in the NITI Aayog's Governing Council meeting and forwarded their demands to the Prime Minister. The farmers have been grabbing headlines for their unique and sometimes bizarre methods of protest since they arrived in Delhi over 38 days ago. Adorned with human skulls around their necks, the farmers attempted to grab the attention of authorities towards their condition and demands for drought relief package. The farmers have so far performed 'Angapradakshinam' - rolling prostrate on the street at Jantar Mantar - staged suicides, conducted mock funerals, shaved off half their moustaches and beards, stripped in front of the Prime Minister's office, eaten dal and rice off the road, stood with mice in their mouths and have hung skulls around their necks, which they claim belong to farmers in their state who committed suicide because of mounting debt. The farmers have been demanding Centre's intervention to write off their loans from nationalised banks, a revised drought relief package and resolve the alleged drying up of the Tamil Nadu leg of the Kaveri river. The state government and the Madras High Court have already waived their loans from co-operative banks. (ANI)